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April 2024

Dear friends,

I admit it, I had a crush on George Plimpton—who didn’t? George was a visiting instructor when I was in graduate school, and he was so tall you could immediately see him in a room holding court as he told stories, so charming with his eyes that crinkled at the corners and patrician accent that drew you in.  While researching my new book, I came across the story of how Ernest and George met, and I thought you’d enjoy it too.

Best regards,



THE MAGAZINE STAND AT THE RITZ Ernest and Mary Hemingway were staying at the Ritz Paris before leaving on safari.  Ernest loved a good magazine stand where he would buy an assortment of Italian, Spanish and English magazines, and on this day, he bought a new literary magazine called The Paris Review. Little did he know that across the hall in the bar, the magazine’s young editor, George Plimpton, was drinking with a group of friends. George could hardly contain his excitement when he saw a man buying a copy of “the paper” as George called it. When the man turned around it was Ernest Hemingway! George pounced and convinced him to do an interview, and it was the beginning of a friendship that would last throughout Ernest’s life. (Photo: Still image from PBS American Masters: George Plimpton at the Helm of the Paris Review”)

PARIS, 1921 The timeless appeal of Paris is that many of the places Ernest frequented when he arrived in December 1921 still exist in one form or another.  The Luxembourg Gardens, Les Deux Magots, La Closerie de Lilas, the apartment on Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.  A few places are gone – the Dingo Bar is now an Italian Restaurant; the apartment above the sawmill is now a school – but most restaurants and landmarks survive. (Photo: a brass plaque marks Hemingway’s table at La Closerie de Lilas)

INSIDER PARIS The Île Saint-Louis is a tiny island in the middle of the Seine across from Notre Dame, in the heart of Paris. The little island has three wonderful hotels, the Hotel Saint-Louis en l’Isle, my home away from home when in Paris, the Hotel des Deux-Iles, and Hotel du Jeu de Paume.  If you are going to Paris—or if you are signing up for the Left Bank Writers Retreat this year, August 31-September 6, you’ll want to check these out. (Photo: view from a balcony, Hotel Saint-Louis en l’Isle)

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Past Newsletters

"About Ernest" March 2024 Newsletter

You’ll notice I’ve changed the name of the newsletter to reflect work on my new book as well as a variety of Hemingway-related topics. With Spring around the corner, it reminds me of “printemps” in Paris, a time I love. This year however I’ll be returning in September, another beautiful time of year (aren’t all seasons in Paris beautiful?), and I invite you to join me.